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Worrell 1000: Adventure is part of living

Just when it seems that everything a little reckless and a lot of fun has been crushed by laws and liability concerns, the Worrell 1000 returns to remind us that adventure is part of living. Twelve teams representing five countries will take on the 1000-mile course between Florida and Virgina, racing Formula 18s in the 50th anniversary edition of what began as a dare in 1974.

From that bar-room bet between the Worrell brothers, to the first official “Worrell Brothers Coastwise Race” in 1976, now in 2024 comes the 23rd running of race starting May 12 in Hollywood, FL, with overnight stops up the coast to the finish at Virginia Beach, VA.

From 1976 to 1982, the race ran in a 24-hour, continuous format on Hobie 16s. Reckless and dangerous, teams of three rotating sailors kept to the very simple rules of the time: Keep the continent to your left, go as fast as you can, and come ashore at eight scattered checkpoints up the coast to phone into Race HQ.

Each stop lasted just long enough to find a payphone, switch out a crew member, and push back out to sea. It was a grueling, extreme test of will not only for the sailors, but the ground crews who followed along by land – caring for the one sailor who was rotated off the boat by getting them fed, rested (usually in the back of a van), cleaned up and ready to hop back on the boat to relieve another crewmate at the next checkpoint.

By 1983, Michael Worrell made the decision that would bring the event into what it is today; a 13-checkpoint race, with overnight stops at 12, and a grand finish in Virginia Beach. This made it much easier for local and national media to cover the race and created enormous excitement at each beach every start and finish.

This also allowed the teams to not only rest (if they were fortunate enough to make the checkpoint before the 10am start the next day) but also allowed those teams to give their sponsors exposure to that far-reaching media. It was an incredibly wise decision – and it catapulted the Worrell 1000 into the world-renowned event it is today.

“The response to the 50th Anniversary Event has been incredible!” shares Communications Director Beverley Simmons. “Worrell vets from the 70s, 80s and 90s have emailed or privately messaged us on our Social Media pages telling us how amazing it is that the event is still being run. There is a reason this event just won’t die – catamaran sailors around the world recognize this as THE race to top off their competitive sailing career.”

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Dates and checkpoints for the event:
Day 1 – Sunday 12 May 2023 – Hollywood, FL –> Jensen Beach, FL
Day 2 – Monday 13 May 2023 – Jensen Beach, FL –> Cocoa Beach, FL
Day 3 – Tuesday 14 May 2023 – Cocoa Beach, FL ->Daytona Beach, FL
Day 4 – Wednesday 15 May 2023 – Daytona Beach, FL -> Jacksonville Beach, FL
Day 5 – Thursday 16 May 2023 – Jacksonville Beach, FL –> Tybee Island, GA
Day 6 – Friday 17 May 2023 – Tybee Island –> Folly Beach, SC (lay day)
Day 7 – Saturday 18 May 2023 – Folly Beach, SC (lay day)
Day 8 – Sunday 19 May 2023 – Folly Beach, SC -> Surfside Beach, SC
Day 9 – Monday 20 May 2023 – Surfside Beach, SC –> Wrightsville Beach, NC
Day 10 – Tuesday 21 May 2023 – Wrightsville Beach, NC -> Atlantic Beach, NC
Day 11 – Wednesday 22 May 2023 – Atlantic Beach, NC -> Ocracoke Island, NC
Day 12 – Thursday 23 May 2023 – Ocracoke Island, NC -> Kill Devil Hills, NC
Day 13 – Friday 24 May 2023 – Kill Devil Hills, NC ->Virginia Beach, VA

Note: Checkpoints are subject to change due to individual beach conditions such as storm erosion, etc.

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